Crowdsourcing, Web Sleuthing, "Wisdom of the Crowd"

Crowdsourcing, Web Sleuthing, "Wisdom of the Crowd"

Postby dmac » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:54 pm

There's a new series, "Wisdom of the Crowd", which debuted on TV tonight. It's about a guy who puts his fictional software online via a fictitious website to solve murders. Online sleuths add data which the software utilizes to find probabilities that crimes are connected, zeroing in on a killer. Jeremy Piven, in his best monotone fervor, plays the lead: the mastermind behind the software and site, and a grieving father who believes the man convicted of his daughter's murder is innocent. So his motive is to solve his daughter's murder.

I half-watched the debut, unimpressed by the conventional storyline, and bored by the outlandish graphics displayed by software that's a decade away from being possible. I didn't see any explanation of the logic behind the software driving the storyline, as there isn't any. Of course, that's why the show relies on the same lame side-stories that clog up the majority of these banal US procedurals. Which is why I prefer UK crime shows, by a wide mile. I was hoping for better... I didn't even see an explanation for what Joe Public's role is in this interactive drama. I mean, where's the crowd the title promises, FCS?

It did remind me not only of the praise this site got from the media last year, but writeups my work got in the Washington Post back in 2014. When Hannah Graham was abducted, my immediate reaction was to- take a wild guess- make a map of her known movements and sightings. Familiar with Google, I used their MapMaker to make an interactive, color-coded map of her sightings, including mapped and timed surveillance videos embedded into pop-up balloons.

I think Washington Post was first to praise some of the work we web sleuthers did, while slamming the drivel thought up by many others. WaPo and many other news outlets went so far as to copy my work, sometimes word-for-word, then claiming it as their own. Don't tell Trump, but even that isn't 'fake news'. Cheap and shameless plagiarism, certainly, but all I gave a shit about was helping find Hannah by alerting anyone who may have witnessed her before, during, or after her abduction.

When considering the fantastic, sci-fi-worthy GUI and graphic output of the fictional software on that mediocre show, one must look at the true and sole online current contender: TomNod. I was a member when it came out, and even tagged some irregularities about 70 yards from where the wreckage of the plane we were searching for was found. But I quickly became disillusioned with TomNod and split. The interface was slow, stupid, and apparently designed by someone unfamiliar with the task at hand.

Is anyone familiar with another crowd-sourcing site similar to Tomnod?

If you saw the show, lemme know what you think. As I mentioned, I was only half-watching, particularly once many of the cliches turned me off.

Read the WaPo article linked above, as I think it's a great overview of the topic at hand. I think crowd-sourcing will prove to be a valuable tool in real-time investigations (as in first 48 Hours). Unfortunately, Hannah was dead shorty after that asshole forced her into his car, but there must be a site made where tools are at the disposal of users to do real-time sighting maps, logistics, yada yada... not the shit like on WebSleuths, where people seem more intent on attributing everything to a serial killer they just read about.

Shit, guess how many emails I get per year saying I should consider Duncan as the killer? Half the battle in crowd-sourcing a crime solve is finding an algorithm that squelches the morons.
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